Montana is the Treasure State and has had its share of metal fevers; gold silver , copper rushes and the like. Most of the those precious commodities are depleted. However, we have a wealth of fine agates in our area for those who know what to look for and where to look. Mother Nature has done her usual breathtaking work of making it one of the most unique gems of its kind.There are several sites in the Sidney area known to many, as agate producers. And since every spring runoff deposits different rocks on the gravel banks of the Yellowstone River, agates turn up every year at the familiar sites. Some sites may be picked over by late summer so it is good to get out as soon as the river drops.
Acre for acre, there are few places in the nation that can boast the abundance of wildlife found the MonDak region. The number of wild species that thrive in the area is as varied as the different types of terrain they inhabit.Most prevalent to the bottom land along the Yellowstone and Missouri River bottoms are the whitetailed deer, whose numbers will astound the visitor. Currently the state game biologists are conducting a study of the Lower Yellowstone whitetail population, which has been labeled the most extensive in the state.Smaller than their cousins, the mule deer, which inhabit the dry hill county, the whitetail travel and feed in herds, so when one is in sight you can safely be assured that others are nearby. In the hills mule deer reign. Much harder to spot than the relatively tame whitetails, the "mulies" stick to the thick patches of brush in the coulees during the days, only emerging onto the open plains to feed in the early morning or late afternoon hours before dark.Although not as numerous as the early settler times, the site of antelope feeding in the pastures alongside cattle is not rare in these parts.In addition to these grazers, numerous fur bearing mammals abound in the area. Beaver, muskrat, mink, bobcat, fox, coyote and weasels can be seen by the quiet and careful animal enthusiast.
The bird watcher will no doubt be able to fill up his or her notebook, during the summer months, with sightings ranging from the ever present redwing blackbirds to the rare golden Bullfinch, which inhabit the bottom lands.In the water ways, ducks of every breed, from mallard to pintail, squawk and splash in relative safety. On the sandbars and river islands Canadian geese and white pelicans are annual summer visitors. Other feathered friends include several varieties of hawks, falcons, and owls.A pelican? In Montana? For most outsiders, pelicans are birds of the sea coast. But for MonDak natives, the sight of a pelican on the plains is just as acceptable. On any given spring or summer day the chances are good of spotting a group of pelicans on some remote sandbar on the Yellowstone or Missouri Rivers, where they are safe from predators and the noisy intrusion of man. For local river watchers, the fall migration of the pelican is a sure sign of cold weather coming as their returning is of spring.